Text and Context
Despite the changes in the values and concerns of society over time, humanity remains the same. A text is a reflection of the context in which it is composed. It captures the religious and social influences and the values placed upon them. Despite the changes in the values and concerns of society over time, humanity seems to remain the same. Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The pardoners Tale” written in the 14th century and Sam Raimi’s “A Simple Plan” released in 1998 both explore the unchanging values and attitudes in human nature. Both texts also demonstrate that Avarice is the root of all sins and that evil deeds lead to the spiritual death of an individual. Although “The Pardoners Tale” is set in the 14th Century where the church is in power, “A Simple Plan” shows the same tale but suited in a modern time where the fear of “synne” is replaced with the legal system. The sin of Avarice is timeless and unavoidable due to the inner desires and materialistic views in humanity. Chaucer’s “The Pardoners Tale” is one of the tales from the Canterbury Tales and is set in the 14th century theocratic England where lives were governed by sin and penance. The prologue allows the audience to explore the Pardoner’s hypocrisy and uncovers his deteriorated human morals through the Pardoner’s monologue. “I preche nothing but for coveitise.” Due to the churches control and the lack of knowledge during the Pardoners time, he is able to bring fear into others with his theme “Radix molorum est cupiditis (Avarice is the root of all evil.),” while he ironically indulges in it. A tavern which is a medieval symbol of the sinful and physical world is the setting where the Pardoner narrates his tale of the three rioters who set out to kill death. The Pardoner leaves the three rioters anonymous “Youngeste, proudeste, worste” to emphasize how this applies universally and to set a warning from their actions. What started as a journey to kill death ironically ended in their deaths as...
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